Truth be told, this doesn’t even begin to cover a fraction of Florida ’s amazing fisheries. With such a large state surrounded by two major bodies of water, it’s impossible to include all of Florida ’s hottest fishing destinations in one article.
Jacksonville sits right on the mouth of the St. Johns River, facing the Atlantic Ocean. Some areas you should definitely check out are Mill Cove, Nassau Sound, and Amelia Island State Park.
No matter where you go, you can expect a day full of action, targeting Cobra, Redfish, Black Drum, and King Mackerel. Located directly on the Intracoastal Waterway, this historic town offers a wide range of angling opportunities right on its doorstep.
Combine targeting them with going for Trout and Flounder, and you’ll earn yourself a Northeast Florida Slam. Travel outside the inlet, and you’ll find lots of Snapper, Grouper, Amber jack, Cobra, King Mackerel, and sharks.
Head further offshore, and you’ll access the migratory routes of Blue Marlin and Sailfish. Whether you’re a competitive angler or you’re just getting started, this area’s got plenty of charters that will show you an amazing day on the water.
For a relaxing day in the city, explore the streets, visit shops and coffee houses, and don’t forget to enjoy a scenic stroll on the River walk. For a taste of local history and amazing views, head to the Fort Caroline National Memorial.
Head south to Mosquito Lagoon and get ready to hook into a variety of species, including Shook, Red and Black Drum, and Sleepyhead. If you’re looking for a longer trip, book a deep sea charter that will take you trolling for Yahoo and many other pelagic species.
Daytona Beach also has some of the best Large mouth Bass fishing in the state, which you can explore if you decide to travel inland. Daytona Beach is a popular tourist destination with many activities you can combine with your fishing trip.
And of course, Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse & Museum, where you can climb up its many stairs for amazing views. With its vast network of flats, sandbars, and seagrass meadows, this is a prime spot for sight casting and fly-fishing.
You can either wade in the shallows or pole your way across mangrove tunnels in search of Redfish, Shook, Sea trout, and Tarpon. There are tons of great spots, such as Stephen’s Point, Big Sarasota Pass, and Siesta Key, that are only a short boat ride away.
Start off with the beaches, take a dip, get yourself a nice tan, and finish your trip with a scenic hike in the nearby state park. Another amazing Florida fishing spot, Naples, is located in the heart of Florida ’s Paradise Coast.
You can pick a guide to take you backcountry fishing where you’ll weave through mangroves and cast over flats to catch everything from Spotted Sea trout to Blacktop Shark. There are lots of excellent inland canals that can make a half day trip extra rewarding here.
If you’re up for a challenge, fly-fishing can produce lots of great action against the likes of Tarpon, Shook, Permit, and many other inshore species. If you have a few extra hours to spare, you can head offshore and tick some big game fish off of your bucket list.
With so many excellent fishing locations concentrated in this part of Florida, it’s no wonder they call it the Paradise Coast! Start your trip off with a dip on Naples Beach, take a walk through the Botanical Garden, or go on a hike in Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park.
Shook, Trout, and Redfish flood the waterways between here and Cape Coral, giving inshore anglers the thrill of a lifetime. Other top species here include Goliath Grouper, Tarpon, various Sharks, Mangrove Snapper, Cobra, and the list goes on.
The reason why so many people come to Fort Myers and Cape Coral is its access to an endless amount of fishing opportunities. Some spots you’ll definitely want to check out are San Carlos Bay, Malacca Pass, and Pine Island Sound.
You can head down the famous Sailfish Alley and reel in big pelagic fish with the city’s skyline in the background. If you’re looking to stay closer to shore, the Biscayne Bay is only a short boat ride away and teeming with lots of fish.
This area holds large numbers of Red and Black Drum, Shook, Jack Crevasse, Spotted Sea trout, Sleepyhead, and many more. You can also explore the Florida Middle Grounds for some offshore action and reel in Amber jack, Black fin Tuna, Red Snapper, and Gag Grouper.
With so many options on hand, we have a feeling you’ll be coming back to Tampa Bay several times to check out everything this region has in store. Nestled on the waters of Tampa Bay, the city boasts a unique combination of history, Floridian culture, and modern attractions.
Combine your trip with a dolphin cruise, and a visit to some interesting museums, and you got yourself a perfect Tampa itinerary. Its long stretches of white sandy beach make fishing off the surf a rewarding experience.
If you’ve ever imagined a fishing paradise, chances are you’re probably thinking of something close to, if not exactly like the Florida Keys. The Florida Keys is a 100-mile stretch of thin islands, surrounded by crystal blue waters and lots of fish.
Bone fish take the center stage in the spring but you can also catch lots of (Snook), Tarpon, and Permit throughout various times of the year. With spots like the Marathon Humps attracting a slew of hungry fish, you’ll experience rod-bending action with very little waiting time between catches.
You’ll often find yourself having to take out the heavy tackle as you battle against some of Florida ’s hardest-fighting fish, such as Marlin, Sailfish, and Tuna. The famous Overseas Highway will prepare you for the time you’ll spend here, with stunning views over the turquoise waters.
Offline, you can get them at any registered retailer including Walmart and bait and tackle shops, but check out our detailed guide for more information. With so many charter options to choose from, you can tailor your trip to your preferences and enjoy one of the greatest fishing states in the world.
Rods, reels, and tackle are usually included in the price and you’ll likely have a cooler on board so you can bring your favorite snacks and drinks for the ride. Anglers catch hundreds of brawny, beautiful and delicious species in teeming estuaries, off gorgeous beaches and in the deep blue oceans surrounding the Florida peninsula.
So close that you giggle as a pod of dolphins plays in your bow wave in the Indian River Lagoon, near Stuart, Sebastian or Titusville. Or, catch bass species that thrive only in North Florida rivers such as the magnificent Suwanee, where class III rapids add serious excitement to a fishing trip on the river between White Springs and the Town of Suwanee, where the river passes through the Lower Suwanee National Wildlife Refuge, pouring out into the Gulf of Mexico.
Whether it’s a red snapper caught off Destiny, speckled trout from Tampa Bay, or a mess of crappie from Tallahassee ’s Lake Alcuin, there’s not much more satisfying or delicious than eating fish you caught yourself. Most places you can find a restaurant that will cook your catch to order.
Florida ’s the place to fire up a young angler’s inner fishing fanatic. Spring break or summer vacation are both great times for feisty, delicious easy-to-catch fish.
The biggest sea trout on record came from Fort Pierce. Show map of the United StatesLocationLocation Gulf of MexicoCoordinates28°2730N84°1230W/ 28.45833°N 84.20833°W/ 28.45833; -84.20833Coordinates : 28°2730N84°1230W/ 28.45833°N 84.20833°W/ 28.45833; -84.20833 Country United States Geology Type reef The Florida Middle Grounds are a reef in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico, approximately 128 kilometers (80 miles) west northwest of the West coast of Florida.
The ridges consist of unconsolidated marine calcareous muddy sand, about 12 meters (40 feet) thick, overlying a weathered, fossiliferous limestone of Miocene age (between 5 and 22 million years old) and capped by a carbonate rock composed primarily of the sessile hermetic gastropod Petaloconchus SP. Previous to core sample studies in 2010 and 2011, the Florida Middle grounds were thought to have been formed by coral.
However, new research indicates that the ridges likely formed as a series of shore-parallel sediment bars eventually capped and preserved by hermetic gastropods, or “worm snails.” Today's middle ground reef ecosystem represents the northernmost scope of mid-shelf doctoral communities in North America.
It is a prehistoric coral-reef complex that has bio-similarities to modern patch-reefs, and a species distribution that includes both Carolinian and Caribbean components. The fish species are markedly tropical, with stony coral, Oregonians, and sponge dominating the community that relies upon the existence of the Loop Current.
^ Coleman, FC; Dennis, G; AAP, Walter; Koenig, C; Reed, S. “The Florida Middle Grounds: Habitat Area of Particular Concern”. “The Role of Hermetic Gastropods in the Development of the Florida Middle Ground, Northeast Gulf of Mexico”.
“New Geologic Explanation for the Florida Middle Ground in the Gulf of Mexico”. ^ AAP, Walter C. “Observations on Deep Marine Structures: Florida Middle Ground, Pulley Ridge, and Howell Hook from the Steelworker submersible, sustainable seas' expedition, 2000”.
Why fish the Florida Middle Grounds Let's take a closer look at... 'The Florida Middle Grounds in March' The Florida Middle Grounds, 99+ miles northwest of Tampa Bay, consist of a series of both high and low relief limestone ledges and pinnacles that can exceed 49 feet. The Ground's 170 species of fish relies on the existence of the loop current.
A real Florida Middle Grounds Prize is the faster than fast Yahoo. This trophy fish is best know to sport fishermen for its speed and never-give-up fight: Today's large, dependable, outboards can reach the Middle Grounds.
Mangrove (Mango) Snapper is native to the western Atlantic Ocean from Massachusetts to Brazil, the Caribbean Sea, as well as our own Gulf of Mexico. The Mangrove Snapper is a highly sought after game and commercial fish.
Properly managed there is plenty for both recreational and commercial fishermen. I snapped this picture some time ago from the deck of the Florida Fisherman ll.
The Cornet fish is common in tropical waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, as well as our Gulf of Mexico. The Dogfish is native to the western Atlantic Ocean, with a range from Nova Scotia, Canada to northern South America, including our Gulf of Mexico.
This species is currently the only known member of its genus: The Trigger fish inhabits tropical and subtropical waters throughout the world. Typical Red Grouper range is coastal areas in the western Atlantic stretching from southern Brazil to North Carolina and our own Gulf of Mexico.
On the Florida Fisherman ll most are caught on squid or Thread fins. When aggravated or involved in spawning activities, the Red Grouper can rapidly change coloration patterns, with the head or other parts of the body turning completely white, and the white spots appearing more intense: Shark attack: Gag Grouper: Gag Grouper is a species of grouper found in warmer parts of the West Atlantic, including the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and even Tampa Bay.
This grouper is very good eating, and has a long Florida recreational season lasting seven months. The Red Snapper is found in the Gulf of Mexico as well as the southeastern Atlantic.
Red Snapper are gregarious and form large schools usually around wrecks and reefs. The Florida Fisherman ll has perfected trolling from a head boat...
They can be found in the Western Atlantic from Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, to Brazil, including the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico: Some time ago I was filming what we thought was a Black fin Tuna fight. The one and only Yellow fin Tuna ever caught on the Florida Fisherman ll.
After standing for 33 years, the All-Tackle world record Yellow fin Tuna was shattered by Mike Livingston on November 30, 2010, with a 405 pound catch, and then again by Guy Locum on September 18, 2012 @ 427 pounds. Yahoo have been known to reach 8 foot 2 inches in length, and weigh up to 183 pounds.
Think again: After memories to last a lifetime, stuffed ice boxes, and a great meal, it's time to hit our 4-inch thick foam bunks. Reading Time: 6minutes Florida is a great place to live if you’re a fish.
From warm-water canals to colorful reefs, the Sunshine State is an ideal home for hundreds of different fish species. There are a lot of non-native and invasive fish in Florida, and they cause all kinds of problems.
In this article, you can learn all about Florida ’s “most wanted” fish species and why you should catch as many of them as you can. The U.S. Geological Survey defines invasive fish as any species which is outside its native range and has the potential to damage the local environment, economy, or public health.
It could be an exotic fish released from an aquarium or a species from a neighboring state that starts to take over. Some have found their place in the local ecosystem, while others are deliberately maintained or simply too new to judge.
Peacock Bass are the great success story of Florida ’s exotic fish. These days, they’re one of the state’s most popular game fish and have slotted into the food chain without threatening native populations.
Grass Carp were stocked in lakes and ponds around Florida to fight invasive plant life. To control the population, the FCC only stocks “triploid” Grass Carp, which have been adapted to make them sterile.
In general, there’s no season or bag limit for non-native or invasive fish in Florida. Peacock Bass are classified as game fish and have a set bag and size limit.
Florida is ground zero” for the Lionfish epidemic, and they’re such a big problem that the FCC even put a $5,000 bounty out on them in 2018. The thing that makes Lionfish special is that you don’t even need a license to catch them if you’re using a pole spear.
Strong, aggressive, and highly predatory, Snake head seem like a bad choice of pet. All we know for sure is that they started showing up in canals around Pompano Beach in the year 2000 and have since become the most invasive freshwater fish in Florida.
Snake head are apex predators and put up a great fight on light tackle. The Clown Knife Fish takes the cake, and it has outlandish looks to match.
They’re a popular aquarium fish that either escaped or was released into the waters around Lake Ida by a private owner. Since then, they’ve established themselves as the menace of the Boca Raton / West Palm Beach area.
They may not put up the same fight as Snake head, but their looks and acrobatics make them a popular catch among visiting anglers. In fact, some guides run special “exotic grand slam” tours targeting Clown Knife Fish, Snake head, and Peacock Bass.
Tilapia is a staple food fish in Northern Africa and the Middle East. The Bass have done a great job since then, and Spotted Tilapia are considered non-native rather than invasive these days.
As with every (fish) on this list, you can catch as many of them as you like, so become a conservationist and enjoy a fishy feast at the same time! Mayan Cichlid aren’t technically invasive, but they’re a real pest and have become a go-to target for exotic fish lovers and light tackle fans in Florida.
They may be small, but Mayan Cichlid are a ton of fun on light spinning or fly-fishing gear. Brown Hop lo, Asian Swamp Eel, Jaguar Capote, Sail fin and Sucker mouth Catfish, the list goes on.
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